Top 10 Things to See at the 2014 Canadian International Auto Show

Sami Haj-Assaad
by Sami Haj-Assaad

Canadian readers will be happy to know that the 2014 Canadian International Auto Show is opening this weekend in Toronto. World premieres may be few (or entirely nonexistent) but there’s still plenty to see and do – and a lot of first time Canadian reveals. Here’s our take on the most important and interesting items at the show this year.

This 911 GT3 Cup race car highlighted Porsche‘s return to the biggest auto show in Canada. While folks in Toronto will get their first glimpse of the Macan compact sports utility vehicle, it’s this awesome race car that will attract the most eyeballs. An entire field of these cars will compete wheel-to-wheel in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series with 10 races during the season, including at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (formerly Mosport), just outside Toronto.

A unique concept we first saw in Tokyo, Canadians will get a glimpse of Toyota’s take on future mobility. The FV2 Concept was on display, where it was demo’d using an intuitive steering style. The rider leans left or right, and the scooter-esque vehicle turns as well. We’re unsure if the leather-zip-up body suit is mandatory riding equipment. It might not fit all body styles.

All-wheel drive, turbocharged and adorned with a big flat spoiler, the Subaru WRX STI is sure to be popular with driving enthusiasts. Seen alongside the less powerful WRX, the STI makes its Canadian debut this weekend. While the WRX uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine to make 268 hp, the STI will use a 2.5-liter boxer engine to make 305 ponies. Either way you take it, these cars are built for snowy Canadian winters.

While older readers (and race fans) will recognize this car as Richard Petty’s own Plymouth Superbird, younger readers might be familiar with its appearance in the Pixar movie Cars. This 1970 homologation special features a 426 V8, and is rarely seen outside of Richard Petty museum in North Carolina. As Mopar is a featured brand being shown off at CIAS this year, it’s nice that Petty lent the Canucks this extra special car.

An example of sublime engineering and insane space-age styling, this McLaren P1 is hard to forget. It looks right out of the future and with its plug-in hybrid powertrain it kind of is, screaming “future technology” at about 217 mph – we mean, 350 km/h for our Canadian readers. Making 900 horsepower, this is one of the most powerful and fastest cars at the show, and is without a doubt a must see, as there are only 375 examples of the car, and all of them are already sold.

Located in the Auto Exotica area, there’s plenty of other shiny sheetmetal from the world’s exotic automakers, like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Lotus.

From new-school to old-school, here we have a 1992 Porsche 964 Turbo, from Pfaff Tuning. While still looking tasteful, the 964 here is modified with turbo enhancements along with upgraded exhaust and headers. A true daily driver, this car has 126,000 kms (78,000 miles) on it, and still looks factory fresh.

This funny looking contraption is found at the Mazda booth, and while it may appear to be an expensive easy-bake oven, it’s actually a 3d-printer. Making models of the Mazda3, this is so cool to see in action. Mazda itself has tons to talk about at CIAS, including the fact that the Mazda6 sedan won the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada’s (AJAC) car of the year award for 2014. There’s also the amazing Skyactiv race car.

At under $10,000, the Nissan Micra will be the cheapest new car on sale in Canada. A four-door subcompact playing in the same field as the Chevy Spark, the Micra seriously undercuts all of its competition when it comes to price. While the interior is Spartan, this Micra could still prove to be a fuel-efficient, no-nonsense car for the Canadian Market. We wonder if there’s any demand for this little cheap car in the US?

SEE ALSO: 2015 Nissan Micra First Look

The Ford Mustang is so cool it’s heart is made of ice. But seriously, the 5.0-liter Coyote engine under the hood of Mustang is made in Windsor, Ontario, making it a local flavor. At the Canadian International Auto Show, Canucks get their first glimpse of the new-look Mustang, including this convertible version, which is a bit of a tease to show to Toronto residents, as they’re currently embracing 21-degree Fahrenheit weather.

There might be an American flag on the driver’s-side door of this Corvette C5.R, but this race car is an icon in Canadian racing history.

One of the car’s co-drivers was Ron Fellows. Perhaps the most accomplished Canadian racecar driver ever, he’s now part owner of Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (formerly Mosport), where he’s known as the Mayor of Mosport. A long-time driver in the American Le Mans Series, he’s also done some NASCAR racing.

In 2001, Fellows and his teammates won the GTS class in the 24-hours of Le Mans. To date he’s the only Canadian to have won the storied endurance race.

The highlight of the Ren Fellows exhibit, numerous other race cars make up the display, from stock cars to a prototype Ferrari.

Sami Haj-Assaad
Sami Haj-Assaad

Sami has an unquenchable thirst for car knowledge and has been at AutoGuide for the past six years. He has a degree in journalism and media studies from the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto and has won multiple journalism awards from the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada. Sami is also on the jury for the World Car Awards.

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